Monday, October 21, 2013

Kleuren langs de weg naar huis.

DSC00919 (1300x976)Home: (from Old English hām, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch heem and German Heim)  The place where one lives permanently, where one flourishes, is most typically found, or from which they originate.

‘Home’ is a slippery reality for me as an expatriate.  I’m distant from both country and family, transient in my work and residence.  Where is home?   It’s alive in select local places and among a small circle of people.  And, of course, the iconic ‘13 boxes of things’ that define and connect me (and fit into a Fiesta).

How many places can I occupy, how many people can I trust? A wonderlijke wezen friend suggests that home DSC00948 (1300x954)has to be restricted to one person, one place: it’s not something you can spread around. 

I had constructed a ‘Circle of Ten’ life, retaining options and resisting commitment, choosing fractional relationships and drop-through residency that never added up to a whole life.  And when businesses ran into difficulty, people schemed betrayal, and places turned toxic, it left no solid ground to take refuge.

Re-building, re-defining, re-integrating became a horrible and consuming task.  I’ve had to come to terms with myself and others, to rebuild identity, confidence, and trust in people, places,and institutions again.

‘To find a way ‘home’.

DSC00941 (1300x1013)I drove up to Cambridge today: a Board meeting, school planning, business activities, closing out utilities and memberships.  A transformative place for me, but no longer ‘home’.  It’s funny how feelings change: I missed the coastal setting and new friends as soon as I left Sandbanks.  We’ve joked that I’ve tried living with smart people and among old people: now it’s time to give rich people a shot.  Maybe. Or perhaps, after four months, its just time to close out and move on, wearily.

Still, there was something in the fall colors along the way, in the trees outside of the old apartment and along Parker’s Piece, in the DSC00950 (1300x974)Biotech Centre lunchroom and our St. John’s offices, in the radio telescopes and churchyards dotting the countryside, that is more than familiar, still connected with memories and people.

still, in some sense, ‘home.

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